Usumacinta River & Maya World Expedition
7 Days / 6 Nights
Degree of difficulty: moderate; Types of accommodation: Beautiful ecolodges and our Five-Star Camping; Focus: Nature and Maya Archaeology. See the fascinating Maya Sites of Yaxchilan, Bonampak, Aguateca and Ceibal & the natural beauty of the Usumacinta and Pasión Rivers. See the beautiful Petexbatun Lagoon and visit the impressive Maya ceremonial site of Tikal.
DAY 1 (B,L,D)
GUATEMALA CITY - YAXCHILAN
Transfer from your hotel to Guatemala City's International Airport to register for your flight to Flores, Petén. Arrival and breakfast before departure to the village of Bethel. Embark on a Peten style lancha (boat) with an outboard motor that will take us down the Great Usumacinta River. We will set up camp on a white sand dune after enjoying a full afternoon at the impressive site of Yaxchilan, still used to this day as a place of worship and ceremony by the Lacandon Maya. This unique site is strategically located atop a knoll set on a natural omega formed by the Usumacinta River. Once the park closes, we will go for a dip and get refreshed before dinner at our campsite. We will spend our first night watching the clear skies, surrounded by beautiful jungle, and gathered around a cozy bonfire. (CAMP 1)
DAY 2 (B, L, D)
After breakfast we will continue our journey up river to the Mexican border of Corozal. We will proceed to check customs and drive on to the magnificent Maya Classic site of Bonampak. You will appreciate the marvelous art work contained in 3 exquisite chambers with murals painted on all sides and depicting different ceremonies & war scenes affording us a glimpse into the daily lives of the ancient Maya. Enjoy lunch at the site. We will return to our boat and we will reach our next camping spot by sunset at Los Chorros, a unique geological formation, where we will enjoy a wonderful evening listening to the babble of the creek and the sounds of Nature. (CAMP 2)
DAY 3 (B, L, D)
Before breakfast we will enjoy a refreshing morning dip at Los Chorros, where lovely cascades pour into the powerful river stream. Surrounded by dense subtropical vegetation we will discuss the natural balance and human interaction with nature and learn about community-based ecotourism in the Maya World. We will make a quick visit the archaeological site of Planchon de las Figuras on the Lacantun river. Continue upriver until we reach La Estrella, where we will camp on a river dune where the waters of the Pasion & Salinas rivers meet to form The Great Usumacinta. (CAMP 3).
DAY 4 (B, L, D)
We will make an early start until we reach the pristine waters of the Pucte Stream, its waters so clear we'll see the many hues of green and red of the plants dancing with the current. We will make a quick stop in Sayaxche and then continue our explorations on the Petexbatun Lagoon. Overnight at Chiminos Island Lodge, a beautiful ecolodge located exactly at the site of the Last Maya outpost, in the middle of the Peten jungle.
DAY 5 (B, L, D)
After breakfast we will explore the fascinating history of the Petexbatun region as we walk up to a reconstructed palisade at Punta de Chiminos. We will discover more about this important passage of history as we continue to Aguateca through a winding creek. After exploring the archaeological complexes at Aguateca we will also explore the “trench”, a natural formation (a geological fault) which served as part of the Maya’s defensive system during the Late Classic period. The site is currently undergoing restoration. Lunch included back at your hotel where you will have the opportunity to enjoy swimming & nature at its best. Free afternoon. Overnight and dinner at Chiminos Island Lodge.
DAY 6 (B, L)
We will start very early this morning from Chiminos Island Lodge towards Sayaxche and continue overland to the Ceibal Archaeological Monument and National Park. Ceibal is known for its beautiful architecture and for its stelae. It was probably a dominant city during ancient Maya times, and probably controlled the trade route. One of its most unique and outstanding features we will visit is a circular pyramid, as we explore the different architectural complexes. After lunch at the site we will return to Flores and continue to our hotel, where you will enjoy a beautiful sunset over Lake Peten Itza. Dinner on your own tonight. Overnight within a nature preserve at Hotel Camino Real Tikal.
DAY 7 (B, L)
After a very early morning breakfast and check out we will visit the monumental city of Tikal. A full day discovery of the site will allow us to explore most of the fascinating natural and archaeological wonders of the most extraordinary of all ancient Maya cities: Tikal. It is the most impressive of all Maya Ceremonial centers due to the magnificence and monumental proportions of its architecture and the abundance of structures that have been excavated and restored at the site. Enjoy lunch behind a Temple. We'll enjoy Tikal's museums before catching our afternoon flights back to Guatemala City. We will arrive in the Guatemala City airport in the afternoon. End of services with Ecotourism & Adventure. Evening on your own.
Domestic airfare, all ground and river transportation, all accommodations in our five-star camping facility and beautiful ecolodges. All breakfasts & lunches. All dinners except that of Day 6. Entrance to all national parks and archaeological sites. Permanent access to purified water, light snacks and soft drinks. First class first aid kit & paramedic-trained, world class naturalist & archaeological guide.
What's not included?
International airfare, personal expenses, dinner on Day 6, personal & travel insurance. Sodas & alcoholic beverages. PLEASE NOTE THAT: This adventure starts in Guatemala City, very early in the morning of Day 1. All participants must either be in-country or arrive the previous night at the latest. Accommodations for the night prior to our departure or upon returning are NOT INCLUDED in our price and must be booked & arranged for separately. Please let us know if we should send you information about the different pre-trip or post-trip extensions for this adventure. (Pre-trip extensions include the archaeological site of Palenque in Mexico or the Guatemalan highlands. Post trips include Yaxha & Uaxactun, Rio Dulce, Quirigua & Copan or other destinations in Guatemala, Mexico, Belize or Honduras).
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